Tesco worker accused of murdering doctor and teenage Burnley daughter tried to blame schoolgirl, jury says

A builder and part-time Tesco employee accused of murdering a Lancashire doctor and his 14-year-old daughter has made a “cynical attempt” to blame the schoolgirl for the deaths, a jury heard.

Police discovered the bodies of psychiatrist Dr Saman Mir Sacharvi, 49, and his daughter Vian Mangrio in their fire-damaged semi-detached house in Burnley on the morning of October 1 last year.

Miss Mangrio’s severely burned body was found in the living room and her mother covered in soot – with her clothes soaked in gasoline – in the upstairs bedroom with a fuel canister next to her feet and a fuel cap on the bed, heard Preston Crown Court. .

Autopsies revealed that the doctor died from pressure on the neck and the schoolgirl died of asphyxiation.

The Crown said on the basis of the evidence that “the finger would point honestly and frankly” at Shahbaz Khan, 51, a handyman and part-time employee of the Tesco supermarket, as the killer.

David McLachlan QC, opening the prosecution case, said the previous week that the doctor had picked up his daughter early from school after reporting symptoms of Covid-19.

The clinician, known locally as Dr Saman, emailed colleagues in the NHS on September 28 to inform them that they were self-isolating while awaiting the result of Miss Mangrio’s coronavirus test, which s ‘is then found to be negative.

When police and crime scene investigators entered the Colne Road address, they saw inscriptions on the walls, the prosecutor continued.

Mr McLachlan said: “The writing said things like ‘Covid 19 house my mother is evil’, ‘Covid home’ and ‘Help me’.

“The prosecution claims it was a cynical attempt by Shahbaz Khan to portray the relationship between Dr Saman and his daughter Vian Mangrio as bitter in order to deflect blame from him. An attempt to blame Vian Mangrio for the death of his mother.

Khan had previously done repairs to Dr Saman’s home, including a garage conversion.

He arrived at the address shortly before 11:50 a.m. on September 30 where he was to continue other construction work, the court was told.

Moments later, Dr Sacharvi emailed a colleague and was due to join a Microsoft Teams meeting between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., but did not attend and the Wi-Fi was no longer active from from about 1:50 p.m.

It is alleged that Khan killed the psychiatrist before Miss Mangro came home from school at 3:25 p.m. and then attacked her daughter.

The two victims’ cell phones were disconnected from the network later that afternoon and Khan did not recall calls on his phone as he left the house at 10 p.m., the court heard.

Later recovered from the crime scene were two small bottles of Blossom Hill rosé wine and a small bottle of Innocent strawberry banana smoothie purchased by the accused the day before the murders, McLachlan said.

Mr McLachlan said that when news of the deaths emerged in the following days, the accused told a friend that he last saw Dr Saman a few days ago when he asked him questions. executives and told someone else that he hadn’t come home since the extension work.

Khan was arrested on October 4 and police raided his home where they discovered a bag in the attic containing gold jewelry, worth several tens of thousands of pounds, belonging to Dr Saman.

Khan, of Ribble Avenue, Burnley, denies two counts of murder and one count of arson being reckless as to whether life was in danger.

His wife, Rabia Shahbaz, 45, also of Ribble Avenue, denies committing an act aimed at perverting the course of public justice, namely providing her husband with a false alibi.

The trial is expected to last up to four weeks, with the prosecution continuing on Tuesday.

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